Financial News
Monsanto's stock rallies after profit and sales rise above expectationsExternal Link

Monsanto Co.'s stock rallied 0.9% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the agricultural products company reported fiscal third-quarter profit and sales that beat expectations. Net profit for the quarter to May 31 rose to $843 million, or $1.90 a share, from $717 million, or $1.63 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $1.93, above the FactSet consensus of $1.76. Revenue increased to $4.23 billion from $4.19 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $4.18 billion, as better-than-expected soybean seed and traits, cotton seed and traits and agricultural productivity sales offset a miss in corn seed and traits. The company affirmed its 2017 adjusted EPS outlook of being at the high end of the $4.50-to-$4.90 range. The stock has run up 11.4% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.1%.

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Wed, 28 Jun 2017 12:13:41 GMT
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Blue Apron slashes expected IPO pricing rangeExternal Link

Blue Apron Holdings Inc. cut the expected range for the pricing of its initial public offering to $10 to $11 a share, from the previous expected range of $15 to $17 a share. With the company still offering 30 million shares of Class A common stock in the IPO, the amount the meal-kit delivery company is expected to raise was reduced to up to $330 million from up to $510 million. The stock has been approved to list on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "APRN." Since the previous expected price range was disclosed on June 19, the NYSE Composite has lost 1.0% and the S&P 500 has declined 1.4%.

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Wed, 28 Jun 2017 11:26:49 GMT
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General Mills tops earnings and sales estimatesExternal Link

Food company General Mills said Wednesday it had net income of $408.9 million, or 69 cents a share, in its fiscal fourth quarter to May 28, up from $379.6 million, or 62 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 73 cents, ahead of the FactSet consensus of 71 cents. Sales fell to $3.806 billion from $3.928 billion, but were also ahead of the FactSet consensus of $3.745 billion. Chief Executive Jeff Harmening said organic sales improved at three of the company's four operating segments in the three-month period. However, "while we took important steps in fiscal 2017 to globalize our business structure, accelerate our cost-savings efforts, expand our margins, and drive growth in adjusted diluted EPS, our results on the topline fell well short of our standards. Our entire organization is moving with urgency in fiscal 2018 to meaningfully improve our net sales trends while keeping a sharp eye on our efficiency." The company is now expecting organic sales to fall 1% to 2% in fiscal 2018. EPS measured on a constant-currency basis is expected to rise 1% to 2% from the $3.08 earned in fiscal 2017. The company said it is raising its quarterly dividend by 2% to 49 cents a share. The new dividend is payable Aug. 1 to shareholders of record as of July 10. Shares rose 1.3% premarket, but are down 10% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 8%.

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Wed, 28 Jun 2017 11:12:43 GMT
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First Potomac Realty Trust to be bought in a $1.4 billion deal by Government Properties External Link

First Potomac Realty Trust announced Wednesday an agreement to be acquired by Government Properties Income Trust in a deal valued at $1.4 billion, including debt. Under terms of the deal, First Potomac shareholders will receive $11.15 a share in cash for each First Potomac share they own, which is 1.8% below Tuesday's closing price of $11.35, but a 5.1% above the April 24 close of $10.61, which was the last trading day before media speculation of a potential sale of the real estate investment trust. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year. First Potomac's stock has gained 3.5% year to date through Tuesday, while Government Properties shares have rallied 15%. In comparison, the SPDR Real Estate Select Sector ETF has climbed 5.7% so far this year and the S&P 500 has tacked on 8.1%.

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Wed, 28 Jun 2017 10:53:02 GMT
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Venezuela on high alert after helicopter drops grenades on Supreme CourtExternal Link

Venezuela was on edge Tuesday night after a commandeered police helicopter reportedly dropped grenades on the Supreme Court building in Caracas in what some thought was the prelude to a coup attempt. There were conflicting reports on whether the grenades exploded or not; there were no reported casualties. President Nicolas Maduro called the incident a "terrorist attack" aimed at his ouster. The pilot, a police officer calling himself Oscar Perez, appeared on a video taking credit for the operation, saying he represented a group of police, military and civilians who oppose "tyranny." Venezuela's military was placed on high alert and soldiers were seen guarding government buildings Tuesday night. Venezuela has been rocked by violent anti-government protests in recent months that have left scores dead. Maduro's opponents fear he will use the incident to further crack down on opposition, and rewrite the country's constitution.

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Wed, 28 Jun 2017 03:48:36 GMT
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